Public Radio’s Bob Dorr Retiring

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR FALLS — Public radio legend Bob Dorr is officially retiring Dec. 31.
Even so, Dorr, 57, hopes to keep producing two of his shows on a part-time basis for KUNI, news that is sure to please listeners of his “Backtracks” music show.

“I produce all the shows in my garage,” he said. “I have the original 1972 KUNI control board in my garage.”

Dorr has hosted a rock show on public radio for 37 years. He began at KUNI as an undergrad. “Very, very few things about my degree that I got in 1974 apply to broadcasting in 2009,” he said with a laugh.

Dorr took an early retirement package offered by the University of Northern Iowa as part of budget cuts, but his relationship with KUNI remains solid. He and Iowa Public Radio officials want to keep him around to produce a few shows, he said.

“Both of us really want it to happen, so I have every confidence it will happen,” he said.

The plan, if it can be worked out, is to have Dorr work as an independent producer to keep “Backtracks” and his new show, “Blue Avenue,” on the air on weekends.

He keeps it old school, producing shows in his garage using his massive collection of vinyl and CD albums. He likes the imperfections and dissonance of vinyl.

No digital music for Dorr, who also plays with The Blue Band. “I’m the only one I allow in my garage, except when the band rehearses out there,” he said.

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